KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE Comic-Con Panel Recap: Samuel L. Jackson Plays Eccentric Villain to Colin Firth’s Super Spy in a Colorful Bond Riff

by     Posted 6 days ago

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The last time director Matthew Vaughn adapted a Mark Millar comic, he gave us Kick-Ass.  Now the two are back together for another interesting-looking comic adaptation by way of Kingsman: The Secret Service.  The pic is a twist on the spy genre, as Colin Firth plays a veteran agent of the secretive Kingsman who is tasked with training a young prospect, played by Taron Egerton.  20th Century Fox presented some incredibly promising footage from the film during its Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con this Friday, giving audiences a taste of Firth’s prowess as a deadly-yet-fancy super spy and Samuel L. Jackson’s delightfully eccentric supervillain.

Hit the jump to read my Kingsman: The Secret Service Comic-Con panel recap.

THE MAZE RUNNER Comic-Con Panel Recap: Dylan O’Brien and More Reveal the Grievers; Wes Ball Says He’s Aiming to Shoot Sequel This Fall or Winter

by     Posted 6 days ago

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The “YA adaptation” genre has been rather female-dominated when it comes to feature films, but a unique entry is aiming to take hold this fall with Fox’s The Maze Runner.  Based on the James Dashner novel of the same name, the story revolves around a teenager who wakes up in the middle of a maze with no memory of who he is, surrounded by other teenage boys who also don’t know who they are, where they are, or what the maze is.  Fox touted the film this Friday at San Diego Comic-Con, with Dashner, director Wes Ball, and stars Dylan O’Brien, Will Poulter, and Kaya Scodelario in attendance.

In addition to discussing their approach to the adaptation, entering into a marketplace that has recently been dominated by female-led stories, and changes from the book, Ball revealed that they’re hoping to start shooting the sequel The Scorch Trials later this year if the first film performs well.  Hit the jump to read my full The Maze Runner Comic-Con panel recap.

THE WALKING DEAD Season 5 Trailer and Comic-Con Panel Recap: Cast and Producers Tease “Spectacular Scope”

by     Posted 6 days ago

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With Breaking Bad over and the second half of Mad Men’s final season poised to wrap up next spring, AMC has struggled a bit to find original programming to match its early successes.  That said, one new show hit really, really, really big.  Entering its fifth season this fall, The Walking Dead is not only a ratings juggernaut on cable television, it also gives network favorites like The Big Bang Theory a run for their money in terms of viewership.  Despite a sort of revolving door of showrunners and behind-the-scenes skirmishes, the ratings have continued to grow and its commercial popularity remains higher than ever.  With a spinoff series in the works as well, The Walking Dead franchise is likely to keep AMC afloat for quite some time.

As they do every year, much of The Walking Dead cast (yes, even Norman Reedus) and executive producers Scott M. GimpleRobert KirkmanGale Anne HurdDave Alpert, and Greg Nicotero made the journey to Comic-Con earlier this Friday to preview the upcoming season and reveal the first trailer.  Watch the first The Walking Dead season 5 trailer after the jump, along with my full Comic-Con panel recap. The series returns on Sunday, October 12th on AMC.

A MOST WANTED MAN Review

by     Posted 6 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my A Most Wanted Man review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  The film opens in limited release this weekend.]

The spy thriller genre—like all genres—has its fair share of tropes and clichés.  The best entries are ones that take the foundation of the genre and expand upon it or put a new spin on the material.  Director Anton Corbijn’s latest film, A Most Wanted Man, is a solid and sharply smart entry into the spy genre that manages to explore dark characters and difficult topics while foregoing the typical action-heavy formula, sidestepping audience expectations in the process.  This is not a film that takes shortcuts just to make its audience happy, and though the final results may not delve as deep into some of its themes as one would expect, A Most Wanted Man still manages to be an involving, tense, and slow-burn thriller.  Read my full review after the jump.

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 Red-Band Trailer: The Gang Travels to the Future

by     Posted One week ago

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Paramount Pictures has released the first Hot Tub Time Machine 2 red-band trailer for director Steve Pink’s comedy sequel.  The film sees the return of Clark Duke, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Chevy Chase, with Adam Scott filling the ensemble spot left vacant by John Cusack.  As a fan of the ridiculousness of the first film, I find this follow-up trailer sufficiently swell.  Pink and Co. take the time travel conceit and go a few steps further, as Corddry, Robinson, and Duke’s characters find themselves transported to the future.  The jokes are on point, the visual gags are great, and the characters are still just as mean-spirited.

Hit the jump to watch the Hot Tub Time Machine 2 red-band trailer.  The film opens in theaters on December 25th.

New Ben Affleck BATMAN V SUPERMAN Image Celebrates the Character’s Anniversary

by     Posted One week ago

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Though director Zack Synder’s Man of Steel follow-up Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice doesn’t open in theaters until 2016, Comic-Con-goers will be quite disappointed if we don’t see something from the film during the Warner Bros. Hall H panel on Saturday.  The thirst for superhero footage should be temporarily quenched by today’s reveal of a new Ben Affleck Batman v Superman image that gives us another look at Affleck as the Caped Crusader.  The image premiered on the convention floor at the DC Booth to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Batman character.  This image is a much tighter shot than the previous character reveal, giving us a great look at some Batfleck Stubble.  I really think the choice of casting Affleck as Batman was a fantastic move, and I’m crossing my fingers we get to see a short tease of the character in action this weekend.

Hit the jump to take a look at the new Ben Affleck Batman v Superman image.  The film also stars Gal GadotJesse EisenbergAmy AdamsLaurence FishburneJason MomoaHolly HunterCallan Mulvey, Tao OkamotoScoot McNairy, and Jeremy Irons.  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in theaters on May 6, 2016.

Benedict Cumberbatch Addresses DOCTOR STRANGE Rumors; Suggests He Had Conversations about the Role

by     Posted One week ago

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Having appeared in Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness, and The Hobbit films, one might think that Benedict Cumberbatch would be a Comic-Con veteran by now.  However, the actor just made his Comic-Con debut promoting the DreamWorks Animation film The Penguins of Madagascar, in which he plays a wolf.  No stranger to speculation, after he departed Hall H Cumberbatch took part in an interview with MTV News in which he actually addressed a major superhero rumor head-on: whether he will be leading Marvel’s Doctor Strange.  See his answer after the jump.

WHIPLASH Trailer: J.K. Simmons Induces Terror as the Jazz Instructor from Hell

by     Posted One week ago

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Fresh off a prestigious TIFF selection, Sony Pictures Classics has released the first Whiplash trailer for writer/director Damien Chazelle’s Sundance award-winning drama.  The film stars Miles Teller as a student jazz drummer who aspires to greatness under a ruthless instructor, played with palpable intensity by J.K. Simmons.  I caught the film at Sundance, and this trailer does a great job of conveying the pic’s tone.  It’s essentially a story about the cost of striving for artistic perfection, but it almost plays out as a small-scale horror film with Simmons wholly embodying the role of a relentless teacher.  Teller does excellent work here as well, and he’s already making plans to reteam with Chazelle on another feature.

Hit the jump to watch the Whiplash trailer, click here to read Matt’s review, and click here to watch Steve’s interview with Teller from Sundance.  Whiplash also stars Paul Reiser and opens in theaters on October 10th.

Andy Samberg, Kit Harington, Lena Dunham, and More to Lead HBO Sports Mockumentary 7 DAYS IN HELL

by     Posted One week ago

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HBO is putting together a sports mockumentary project, and the network has pulled together a rather promising comedic ensemble.  Girls writer/co-executive producer Murray Miller is teaming up with Andy Samberg to create 7 Days in Hell, which is described as a mockumentary send-up of professional tennis.  Per THR, the one-off HBO Comedy Event will star Samberg as a superstar tennis “bad boy” who becomes embroiled in a seven-day tennis match at Wimbeldon with an Andy Murray-type prodigy and certified truck driver, played by Game of Thrones star Kit Harington.  The current roster also includes Fred Armisen, Lena Dunham, Will Forte, Karen Gillan, Howie Mandel, Michael Sheen, Mary Steenburgen, June Squibb, and Soledad O’Brien, who will play herself.

This sounds like the kind of delightfully goofy project that’s perfect for Samberg, and I’m very curious to see how Harington’s comedic skills stack up.  No word on when the project may air, but one assumes Samberg will have to fit the filming schedule into his hiatus from Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

New AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Posters Pit Black Widow and Captain America Against an Army of Robots

by     Posted One week ago

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Yesterday, Marvel revealed two new pieces of concept art from writer/director Joss Whedon’s Avengers sequel that gave us a look at Iron Man and Scarlet Witch doing battle against an Ultron army.  It appears that the two pieces are actually part of a larger banner, as today’s new Avengers: Age of Ultron poster shows Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow fighting off some Ultrons as well, with tiny glimpses of Thor’s hammer and Hulk’s big green hand at the edges.  I imagine Marvel will be releasing the rest of these individual posters over the next few days, leading up to the full banner reveal on Saturday in anticipation of the film’s Hall H panel at Comic-Con.

Hit the jump to take a look at today’s new poster, and check back on Saturday for our full panel recap.  Avengers: Age of Ultron also stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, Paul Bettany, and Don Cheadle.  The film opens in theaters on May 1, 2015. [Update: We've added a Captain America poster as well.]

Zack Snyder Trolls the Internet with Henry Cavill SuperJedi Image

by     Posted One week ago

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San Diego Comic-Con is a time when studios start touting or teasing a number of upcoming films, some of which haven’t even been officially announced yet.  However, director Zack Snyder has presumably decided to toy with this culture of intrigue and pop-culture excitement, as he recently shared an image on Twitter of Henry Cavill dressed up in full Jedi regalia with the hashtag “SuperJedi”.  Before you start getting any ideas, no Warner Bros. does not own the rights to Star Wars, Disney does, so no, a Star Wars/Superman crossover will not be happening.  A full Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice panel has not been officially announced for Warner Bros.’ Hall H block on Saturday, but I’d be surprised if we didn’t see at least something from the film.  Whether it has anything to do with this so-called “SuperJedi” I have no idea, but the internet is sure to be aflutter with Superman/Star Wars speculation throughout the next couple of days.  Well played, Mr. Snyder.

Hit the jump to check out the Henry Cavill SuperJedi image, and check Collider frequently over the next four days for our wall-to-wall Comic-Con coverage.

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY Trailer and Images: Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan Get Kinky

by     Posted One week ago

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Focus Features and Universal Pictures have released the first Fifty Shades of Grey trailer and images for director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s (Nowhere Boy) adaptation of the provocative E.L. James book.  The story revolves around Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and her introduction to a whole new world of sexual discovery and risqué activities in the hands of billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan).  The trailer looks like it could easily be for a softcore porn on Cinemax or a serial killer thriller (though maybe I’m getting the latter vibe because I know Dornan from The Fall), and it gets so ridiculous that you just have to laugh.  I assume the camp is part of its charm, and I will say that visually Taylor-Johnson has found a rather striking tone for the pic.  Regardless of what those unfamiliar with James’ source material might think, the film is probably going to make fans (and Focus/Universal) very happy.

Hit the jump to watch the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer.  The film also stars Marcia Gay Harden, Jennifer Ehle, Max Martini, Luke Grimes, Rita Ora, Eloise Mumford, Dylan Neal, Victor Rasuk, and Callum Keith RennieFifty Shades of Grey opens in theaters on February 14, 2015.

LAST VEGAS Sequel Moving Forward at CBS Films

by     Posted 8 days ago

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CBS Films is moving forward with a Last Vegas sequel.  The 2013 Jon Turtletaub-directed comedy was a modest box office success last year, pulling in $134 million at the worldwide box office on a budget of just $28 million.  The cast was led by Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Douglas in what was pitched as “The Hangover with old people”.  Deadline reports that David Diamond and David Weissman, whose resume includes The Family Man and Old Dogs, have been set to pen the script for the follow-up, taking over from the first film’s writer Dan Fogelman.  The plan is to bring Turtletaub and the entire main cast back, as the story will see the characters returning to their old stomping grounds in Brooklyn.  When they arrive, however, they discover that their home turf has changed significantly.

CBS Films is said to be moving “aggressively” on the Last Vegas sequel, so we should hear firm word about the cast and such in the coming months.  Laurence Mark and Amy Baer will return as producers.

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Poster Finds Delight in a Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland

by     Posted 8 days ago

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Warner Bros. unveiled the first The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies poster earlier today in anticipation of the film’s upcoming Comic-Con panel, and now the studio has done the same for director George Miller’s highly anticipated Mad Max sequel/reboot.  The first Mad Max: Fury Road poster shows Tom Hardy’s titular character watching an impending onslaught of presumably brutal wastelanders, complete with the delightfully ironic tagline “What a Lovely Day”.  The images we’ve seen thus far from the pic have been wonderfully strange, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the first footage at the film’s Comic-Con panel this coming Saturday.

Hit the jump to take a look at the Mad Max: Fury Road poster.  The film also stars Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Riley KeoughZoe Kravitz, Courtney EatonRosei Huntington-WhiteleyHugh Keays-ByrneNathan Jones, and Abbey Lee Kershaw.  Mad Max: Fury Road opens on May 15, 2015.

New Images from THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, Oren Moverman’s TIME OUT OF MIND, and TOP FIVE Starring Chris Rock

by     Posted 8 days ago

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Finishing up with our coverage of new images for films that will be debuting this fall at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, we’ve got new photos from a trio of promising features.  Briefly:

  • The Theory of Everything – (Directed by James Marsh) Starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, David Thewlis, and Emily Watson.
  • Time Out of Mind – (Directed by Oren Moverman) Starring Richard Gere, Ben Vereen, Jena Malone, Kyra Sedgwick, Jeremy Strong, Yul Vasquez, Coleman Domingo, Geraldine Hughes, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Steve Buscemi.
  • Top Five – (Directed by Chris Rock) Starring Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, Jay Pharoah, Anders Holm, and Michael Che.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses, and click here to see all the images released from TIFF films thus far.  The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4 – 14th.

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